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The Missouri Clean Diesel Program strives to improve air quality by reducing emissions from on-road and off-road diesel engines. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources pursues funding opportunities for Missouri's fleet owners and operators of diesel equipment. When opportunities become available, the department posts information on this webpage, publicizes them via social media and sends broadcast emails about them. To receive the department's broadcast emails, please subscribe by clicking on the multi-colored envelope on this page and following the prompts.

2018 Clean Diesel Program to Replace School Buses Early; Volkswagen Trust to Provide Second-Chance Funding

Ripley County School Bus For the fourth year in a row, the Missouri Clean Diesel Program will improve air quality by helping owners of school buses buy new cleaner-burning vehicles. Grant recipients must replace buses not scheduled for retirement so that the program can introduce environment- friendly buses into fleets earlier than expected.

Through the federal Diesel Emissions Reduction Act, the department plans to award partial funding for 29 new buses — more than the twice the number funded in previous years. The department expanded the program by aligning it with the Volkswagen Trust; in addition, the trust is enabling the department to offer second-chance funding for applicants not chosen initially.

For more information on the Volkswagen Trust, visit

Reducing dangerous emissions from diesel engines is vital to the department’s mission of protecting public health. The main benefactors will be schoolchildren, an especially susceptible group. Children have respiratory and immune systems that are still developing. In fact, asthma accounts for more school absenteeism and emergency room visits by children than any other chronic disease.

Diesel emissions contain particle pollution and precursors of ground-level ozone. Particle pollution can penetrate people’s lungs by breaching natural defenses, leading to respiratory diseases. Ground-level ozone is the pollutant of most concern across Missouri; it affects our ability to breathe, and it aggravates asthma and other respiratory diseases. Missouri currently has several areas that violate or come close to violating EPA’s national standard for ground-level ozone. EPA sets a standard for ground-level ozone to protect public health and the environment.

The early replacement program for school buses has given some communities an unforeseen bonus. Before disabling the engines of old buses, a few districts have offered them to area firefighters for hands-on training. Firefighters use the buses to practice extricating passengers in case of emergencies.

Funding Process

https://t department will accept applications for the 2018 Missouri Early School Bus Replacement Program through Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. The request for applications, below, provides details and instructions for applying. All owners of school buses serving one or more Missouri districts may apply. The term "districts” refers to public schools, charter schools and private or faith-based schools.

This is an early school bus replacement program; therefore, recipients must permanently disable an older bus from their fleet for every new bus purchased. In order to qualify, the older bus engine must be from model years 1995 to 2006, and the fleet owner must not have the bus scheduled for replacement for at least three years if not for the grant.

The program will fund up to $22,000 of the cost of a new bus. A school bus owner may apply for up to three new diesel buses and up to 10 new buses that use alternative fuels, including propane, natural gas and 100 percent electricity.

Use the links, below, to access the request for applications as well as the application form for the 2018 Missouri Early School Bus Replacement Program. In addition, each applicant must create an account in the department's online portal for funding opportunities. To create an account, go to

DERA Option
Request for Applications
DERA Application, Form--MO 780-2841

Bus owners must submit applications by Friday, Sept. 14, 2018, via email to or via U.S. mail to the following address:

Attn: Mark Leath
Air Pollution Control Program
Missouri Department of Natural Resources
P. O. Box 176
Jefferson City, MO 65102

Selection Process

The department plans to hold a random drawing in September 2018 to select recipients of the program affiliated with both the Volkswagen Trust and the federal Diesel Emissions Reduction Act. After the drawing, the department will notify recipients and post a list of beneficiaries on this webpage. Applicants not selected will be eligible for the second-chance funding under the Volkswagen Trust; they will not have to submit additional applications.

Additional Information

For additional details regarding Missouri’s DERA program in 2017 and 2018, see the work plan the department submitted to EPA: Missouri 2017 and 2018 Work Plan for DERA Grant